I LOVE Awards, but this means MORE to me. Thanks for thinking of them!

The Animal Rescue Site

Friday, December 30, 2011

Memory Ornaments

   I made and gifted several memory ornaments to family members at Christmas. (the one above belongs to my daughter, Riki) The fabric encased in the small 3" wooden hoop is actually a small piece of a favorite sweater worn long ago by my husband's late paternal grandmother.
   The retro pin is just that....an old Christmas pin I found and pinned to the sweater remnant. They compliment each other perfectly, don't you think?
   Each month I spend a day on Maui sorting through pieces of the family history. This memory ornament is very special because it serves as a reminder of a loved one who is basically responsible for my family being my family
   After all, if this tiny woman (well under 5 ft tall) hadn't had the gumption and courage to travel by boat from Japan to Maui and to marry her Japanese plantation worker beau, my father in law would have never been born, therefore my husband wouldn't be here either. Instead, it all happened just like that.
   Over thirty years ago, I met and married this courageous woman's grandson. We are proud and blessed to have had two healthy, happy, giving souls, our son and daughter.
   Our "kids" are grown now and building the foundations for their own families. We owe everything to this magnificent woman. Merry Christmas to you, dear Taki!  
   Make some memories and please have a safe and wonderful New Year.  Blessings and Aloha for 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vintage Hankie + Drop Cloth = Throw Pillow

   It's been a while since I posted. Christmas this year involved a lot of gift making so I hope to post more of those projects very soon. And, since 2012 is just around the corner, I can't promise, but I will say that one of my goals for the New Year is to be more diligent with updating my blog.
   For now, I wanted to show you this simple drop cloth pillow I made for someone special to me who was born in Germany (in fact the town the hankie is from). All it takes is some inexpensive canvas drop cloth, polyfiberfill stuffing and one vintage hankie.
   Sew the handkerchief to the pillow front as close as you can to the rolled edges of the hankie. Then, of course, pin right sides together of pillow front and back, leaving at least 6" section open for turning. Turn sewn pillow right side out, stuff and slip stitch opening closed.
   You can find vintage hankies like these on Ebay or Etsy and many thrift shops. The drop cloth is available at any home improvement shop or Amazon has them also. See more of my drop cloth home decor projects here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caning a Chair Seat

I found this old oak rocking chair exactly as it's pictured here. Very sturdy bones, but it needed a lot of attention. I used old dental tools to remove the spline holding in the cane on the back of the chair. As you can see, the caning in the chair seat was long gone and replaced with a piece of cheap wood. All that had to go.
Next I stripped off every last bit of the white top layer of paint and under that I removed a very faded shade of turquoise. Careful sanding took me down to the raw oak.
I then damp cleaned the wood thoroughly with Murphy's Wood Oil Soap and let it dry for several days. Topped this with several applications of matte finish polycrylic. In between coats I used very fine steel wool to knock off any spots in the finish.
I thought it was so beautiful and I was a little apprehensive about the caning part.
Research on the internet told me everything I needed to know and I found a wonderful seller on Ebay to purchase precut sheets of caning material (the kit includes the spline, assorted wood wedges and an easy-to-follow instruction booklet).

I decided to cane the chair seat first, figuring if I messed up the application it would be easier to cover up (with my big butt.) ha I soaked the first sheet of caning material in the tub in lukewarm water for 30 minutes and began the process. (Making sure the caning is put in straight is the main concern.)
I used a very sharp wood chisel inside the groove to clean the cane edges. Only a small bit of wood glue was required inside the groove and the pre-soaked spline was wedged into place.
The process was repeated to cane the chair back and the rocking chair was allowed to dry 24 hours before use. Seriously, caning a chair seat turned out to be a very easy project and the only tools I used were hand tools.

I love my "new" rocking chair!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Affordable DIY Thingamajigs For Everyone

This handy and clever DIY tool is one of the best thingamajigs I've bought myself for DIY. (It's also incredibly affordable.) Wouldn't it make a great stocking stuffer? The paintbrush adheres to the strong magnetic top of this clip so it doesn't fall into the paint.
I've featured several of these inexpensive, invaluable DIY gadgets here. Check it out if you love DIY or know someone who does.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Knockoff Lampshade - DIY

I saw the idea for this DIY silk roses lampshade on Knock Off Decor last week. What you see above is my final result. Final cost for this DIY lampshade transformation was less than $10.

You'll need one awl, enough silk roses to cover the lampshade (I used 60 for this project) and a hot glue gun to make this silk roses lampshade. Here's the lowdown on the DIY.....

1. Remove flowers from stems. (Make sure to clip excess greenery from flower as shown below.)
2. Begin poking holes at regular intervals 1/2 inch from the upper rim of lampshade.
3. Dab hot glue into hole, insert flower and press. 

I now have a gorgeous DIY lampshade that was simple to make and very budget friendly. (Plus a whole ziploc bag of silk leaves waiting for another DIY project.)

I gotta say though some of the faux flowers available are simply beautiful, I don't normally use them in my home. However, once I set my eyes on the inspirational lampshade, I had to make my own. And whoever saw a lampshade made of actual roses? lol Besides, isn't this lovely? sigh........ :)
P.S. I just found this wonderful Round Tuit linky party and am linking up to Creating My Way to Success.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Divided Pie Pan = Happy Bakers, Happy Families :)

No more arguments of which pie to bake. No more wasted pie. It's pie heaven!
A divided pie pan means less baking, less cleanup and less divided families. Apple pie? Pumpkin pie? Yes please to both!


Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY Ideas for Used Furniture

Pictured is my son's house during his college days. As with most college students, he was on a very tight budget. I offered to help him set up his first home. (Of course, what's a mom to do?) haha
His house was comprised of mostly used furniture from thrift shops which I refurbrished and embellished and had a load of fun doing it. Read about some of the used furniture projects shown above and more here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ginger Chicken - Local Style

This recipe for Ginger Chicken is from my husband who grew up here in the islands. I've included a step by step tutorial on Squidoo. Make it and serve with a pot of rice. Yummy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Switch2Health Step is here!

Walk or run to get your Switch2Health Step or the Replay. This company literally gives you reward points for every 10,000 steps taken (jogging, running or walking). You can then redeem your reward points with participating companies like Amazon, KMart and Sears for gift cards, etc. So it's like getting paid to exercise! I'm so excited!!! Find more info here and let's GET MOVING! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DIY Trick or Treat Bags Collection!

I wish tutorials for DIY Trick or Treat Bags like this one were available when my kids were trick or treating. A scour of the internet allowed me to round up several of my favorites (like this hilarious mummy tote showcased on LilSugar). Visit the collection of Trick or Treat Bags - DIY style, here. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Decorating with Doilies

There are so many decorating ideas using doilies all over the internet that I just had to compile several of my very favorite projects into one big Squidoo lens. Now I can drool over doilies any time I want to. :) Grab your inspiration notebook and crochet hook if you like to DIY and join me at Decorating Ideas Using Doilies.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fun Gifts - Pajama Eaters!

When I first saw the Pajama Eaters created by Jodi over at Sew Fearless, I knew immediately I'd be making several of these fun gifts. (How could you resist?) ;) Jodi has provided a wonderful tutorial so you can make your own Pajama Eaters.

Today I've finished the first of what I hope to be many Pajama Eaters to come. This pink Pajama Eater is a birthday gift for a sweet little girl in Oregon. Next, I'll be making four more for my great neices and nephews in Missouri for Christmas.

Pajama Eaters are lined and have a "dividing panel" inside so the pajamas are inserted in the zipper mouth in front. Behind this section the body is stuffed with fiberfill (making a pillow of sorts) so the Pajama Eater can sit up to eat.
My wish is to make at least a dozen to gift to Toys for Tots this year. A group picture of the charity Pajama Eaters will be posted when I'm done. I'm very excited about gifting these and would like to thank Jodi at Sew Fearless for sharing her creativity.....Thank you Jodi! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sun Hat - Beach Hats, Floppy Hat - Free Patterns DIY

I'd never made a sun hat of any kind until a few days ago, though I've had the free patterns for these two beach hats for a while now. Both sun hats are in the floppy hat genre.

Both beach hats were quick and easy to make. For the red sun hat, I followed this great tutorial by Novita of Very Purple Person. She shared her creativity with a guest post of her sun hat with the scalloped brim version here. I downloaded the free pattern for this sun hat, taped together the pattern pieces for the floppy brim and started sewing. The floppy brim of the sun hat can be either scalloped or left plain. Since this was my first time making a sun hat, I skipped the scallops, but aren't they fabulous?

The crocheted sun hat was easily finished in one night following this fast & easy step by step on All Free Crochet. I used 100% natural cotton yarn for the hat and a sunny yellow cotton yarn for the crocheted rose attached to the side of the floppy brim. Tipnut generously shares directions for 20 crochet flowers here.

Either of these beach hats can be made easily and inexpensively. A sun hat with a floppy brim also helps protect your face on those really sunny days. Plus, they're just so darn cute! ;) Speaking of cute......a big Mahalo (Thank You!) to Maile for modeling these beach hats. Aloha and Enjoy!
P.S. Beach hats + a good sun screen = beautiful skin!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Upcycled Leather Belts Seating

Upcycled leather belts from the thrift shop were used to create this leather chair seat. It took 20 leather belts to cover the seat and when I originally completed this project several years back, the belts cost me 25 cents each for a total investment of $5. Here's how to make a leather chair seat of woven leather belts.

Flip the chair over and remove the existing seat cover. It should be screwed into the chair frame. I used a ratchet screwdriver to make the job easier.

Once the seating frame is exposed, lay the leather belts over the frame in a pleasing pattern and begin to inter weave the leather belts. I had purchased two red leather belts and made sure one red belt was placed horizontally and the other vertically. Also, I tried to vary the textures of the belt during placement to keep the leather chair seat interesting.

Once the leather belts are woven in place on top, begin securing the belts on the underside to the chair frame. Pull each side taut, alternating sides and secure using a staple gun OR....

you could also use a tack hammer and upholstery tacks to attach the leather belts underneath the chair frame. (I used both methods when fashioning my woven leather chair seat.) Before securing belts to frame with the tacks or the staple gun, you may opt to trim any excess lengths of the leather belts using a sharp utility knife. However, as shown in the below pic....

I found that several of the belt lengths were perfectly suited to fastening as you would while actually wearing a belt. (That was certainly easy.) :)

Here's a closeup of the finished seat. And in case you're wondering, this upcycled leather belt seating is incredibly strong. This chair does not get everyday use, but it does come out when we have company and need extra seating. It never fails to bring me compliments and people are inevitably surprised at how very comfortable it actually is.

Moral of this story....don't throw away your leather belts! Here's some more ideas for up cycled leather belts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adult Tutu DIY - No Sew

This tutorial is showing how easy it is to make a no-sew adult tutu. I wish I'd have made a pink tutu for my daughter when she was young. Instead, she asked me (as a grown young adult) to make one for her and a friend for a relay they're running soon. I started and finished both pink tutus today.

Anyone can make a no-sew adult tutu. Here's how I did it:

For each adult tutu you'll need: 
  • 2 yards of hot pink tulle and 2 yards of white tulle
  • 5 yards 1" wide pink grosgrain ribbon
  • sewing scissors
  • tape
  • straight pins
  • sewing graph board
  • a few basic stitches on the sewing machine or by hand if desired

Fold the ribbon lengthwise in half. Cut to create two lengths at 7 1/2 ft each. Tape off ends of ribbon with clear tape to prevent unraveling. 

Sandwich ribbon sections together. Fold in half and mark center with a straight pin. From that point, position another stick pin 15 inches off each center (for a 30" waist). This is a good medium to start from, the actual waistline can be easily adjusted to accomodate the wearer. ** See notes at bottom of article.

Next, sew the ribbon sections together down the middle to give the waistband more substance or strength. To do this...at sewing machine, sew a straight stitch across the 1" ribbon at each marked edge of the 30 inch section. Next sew a zigzag stitch centered horizontally the length of the ribbon between the two previous stitchings. (Ribbons will now be sewn together for a 30" length centered with the remaining ends hanging loose.)


Time to cut the 54" wide tulle. (The sewing board was handy and made the job go much quicker.)

This was my first time dealing with so much yardage of tulle and I found it a little tricky. So, I simply cut off 1 yard at a time and worked with that.

Smooth out one yard piece of tulle and keep it folded in half (as it comes from the bolt.) Now, fold this piece UP lengthwise in half and then fold in half again. (As shown in pic below, you'll now be working with a piece that is 36" long and approximately 6" or so folded in height.)

Cut through all layers every 4 inches along this tulle, giving you 9 pieces for each 1 yard section. (4" x 9" = 36" = 1 yard, right?)
FOR EACH ADULT TUTU you will need a total of 4 yards of tulle.
There has been a lot of questions regarding the length of the adult tutu. I've tried to simplify this the best I know how...
This next step YOU will determine the length of the tutu:
IF you want a tutu that is 6 1/2" long from the waist then fold each of the 9 pieces of 4" wide tulle exactly in half and cut along the fold giving you 18 pieces of tulle that measure 4" wide x approximately 13" long. (Your pieces may be a tad longer depending on the tulle you use....my tulle was supposed to be 54" wide, but it wasn't exactly so.)
FOR 12" - 13" LONG TUTU
If you want the tutu to be approx 12 to 13" long, DO NOT cut the 4" wide pieces in half. For each 1 yard section this leaves you with 9 pieces of tulle measuring 4" wide x approximately 24" to 26" long.

Continue cutting the remaining yardage in this same manner. 


Align one each of the pink and white tulle strips in your hand. Fold in half together and form a loop.

Slip the loop underneath a portion of the ribbon that is sewn together. (First portion of your slipknot.) Then continue making the slipknot by inserting the ends of the tule through the loop and pull to tighten over the ribbon. (see below what it should look like)

Secure ribbon with pins into your sewing board to hold in place while making your slipknots OR use something like the mannequin I have (shown below) to make it even easier. (Actually you could also probably tie the ribbon ends securely to two opposing, sturdy objects while you work on it, if necessary.) 

Continue making slipknots all along the length of the zigzag waist portion of the ribbon and allow the end portions to move freely to be tied into a pretty bow when worn. 

** Note I used 30 inches as a guesstimate. The adult tutu can be sized to custom fit by either spreading the strips of tulle a bit apart on the ribbon or squishing the strips closer together. Adjust the sewn poriton of the ribbon waistline according to the approximate size of the wearer when starting this project. 

I'm so tickled how these no-sew adult tutus turned out. Really a quick project. Now my only problem was how to get these in one box for priority mailing without smashing? Well, space bags of course! lol

I smoothed the two no-sew adult tutus with my hands, and with the help of my husband got them in the space bag. Now all the girls have to do is remove them and give them a good shake and they'll bounce right back into marvelous pink fluffiness! :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails